Lucio M. Ibiricu, Gabriel A. Casal, Rubén D. Martínez, Marcelo Luna, Ezequiel González Svoboda & Ignacio A. Cerda (2016)
New materials of lithostrotian titanosaurs (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of central Patagonia.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
New partially articulated titanosaur materials are incorporate.
Detailed morphological, taphonomic and histological data are combined.
Titanosaur diversity in the latest Cretaceous of South America is discussed.
Titanosaur chronological correlation in the latest Cretaceous of South America is discussed.
Continental Cretaceous deposits exposed in central Patagonia, Argentina, preserve a rich and important record of titanosaurian evolution that spans the entire Upper Cretaceous. Recently, a new lithostragraphic unit, the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation (Coniacian – Maastrichtian), was located in the Golfo San Jorge Basin. Here, we describe new titanosaurian sauropod material from that formation (UNPSJB-Pv 1051). The material consists of a partially articulated left hind limb and disarticulated but associated skeletal elements. They are confidently referred to Titanosauria, and within that clade, to Lithostrotia, probably occupying a derived position. We interpret the bone concentration as an assemblage of hydraulic origin deposited in a fluvial channel. This new material begins the incipient fossil record of the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation, thereby also increasing the titanosaurian diversity of the latest Cretaceous. Additionally, the new titanosaurian enhances evidence in support of strong faunal similarities among the Allen and Marilia formations, chronological equivalents in the Cretaceous of South America. Furthermore, the Lago Colhué Huapi specimen adds to the Late Cretaceous record of Titanosauria and augments our knowledge of central Patagonian terrestrial vertebrate assemblages during this interval.